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Six Super Traditional Ingredients in Warka Pastry

Can anyone ever say no to dessert?  No one we know can!

Warka pastries, popularly known as Kaak Warka, are irresistible treats.

These little donut-shaped pastries are decadent and delightful. Warka pastries are eaten during special celebratory occasions like weddings and religious celebrations like Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan.

Kaak Warka is said to have Andalusian origins. Today, you’ll never miss them adorning dessert trays at parties in Tunisia, Morocco, and other Mediterranean territories.

Warka flour, also known as Warqa, is used to make this pastry.  It can be baked or fried on a skillet. Also known as brik/brick pastry, Warqa is famous in Tunisian and Moroccan cuisine.

The flour is leaf-thin when stretched out into a sheet, making it a good option to prepare layered crispy dishes like Pastilla, which is Moroccan meat or seafood pie.

Phyllo or filo pastry is often confused for Warka, but Warka isn’t as delicate as phyllo dough. Phyllo is used to make layered treats like baklava.

When cooked on a skillet and brushed with vegetable oil, Warka is crispier.

However, to prepare Kaak Warka, the dough is baked as opposed to pan-fried. The result? A white mini donut packed with sweet flavors.

brick pastry batter homemade and cooked. Brick batter is thin
Source: Flickr

What Traditional Ingredients Does Warka Pastry Have?

Warka Pastries have several traditional ingredients that make them revered. At Layla’s Delicacies, we use these ingredients because they have stood the test of time.

This ensures that our Warka pastries are as close to the original historical recipe as possible. So, when you buy one, you are partaking in a piece of history.

These ingredients include:

Special Kaak Flour

We don’t use regular baking flour to make these treats. Instead, we use a special traditional flour, Kaak flour, in the recipe.

Kaak is an Arabic word for biscuit. It’s also used to describe a range of baked goods in the Mediterranean region and the Middle East.

Kaak flour is wheat flour, like fine semolina. It has enzymes and oxidizing agents that help combine the ingredients and make the pastries rise. 

Butter

Kaak Warka melts in your mouth, all thanks to the butter. This ever-useful ingredient is melted and then mixed into the special Kaak flour.

butter can be melted in a skillet and brushed onto food
Source: Unsplash

Butter adds moisture to pastries — it creates that light, flaky texture that pastries are adored for.

Water

After the butter and Kaak flour are mixed, water is added in small amounts as the kneading continues.

Water acts as a solvent, dissolving the flour and combining it with the butter to make a ball of dough. Water is added until the dough achieves a finer consistency.

After that, the batter rests for a few hours, allowing enzymes to act on it, allowing the batter to rise.

Almond Powder 

Almonds are crushed into a powder. This forms most of Kaak Warka’s famous filling. Sometimes, ground pistachio nuts and hazelnuts are used in place of almonds.

Almond nuts for making food taste better
Source: Unsplash

Almonds are very abundant in the Mediterranean. Many popular pastries feature this smooth, brown nut — including  Baklava Pistachio and Almond Fingers, all available at Layla’s Delicacies.

Powdered/Icing Sugar

Icing sugar is a handy ingredient in preparing Kaak Warka. It’s added to the ground almonds to give the pastry filling a sweet kick.

Icing sugar gives the pastry a contemporary touch as its use is widespread  — in pancakes, cake frosting, as well as in drinks.

The fineness of this sugar makes it combine seamlessly with the ground almond to give the pastry the sweetness it’s famed for.

Rose Water

This multifaceted elixir is an exotic addition. Used in cosmetics, perfumery and even in desserts, rose water is a lovely inclusion to the pastry recipe.

Rose water for a better cook
Source: Flickr

It’s made by steeping rose petals in distilled water and simmering it at low temperatures. The mixture is then left to cool so that the water absorbs the petals’ essence.

With its origins in modern-day Iran, this liquid gold has made its mark — it’s used in countless recipes, especially desserts, to give them a sensual flavor.

Rose water is added to the pastry filling, soaking up the icing sugar and ground almonds to make a paste.

After that, the dough and butter mixture is rolled up, filled with this paste, and shaped into donuts before being baked at low heat on non-stick paper — to ensure it retains its white color.

The combination of rose water, icing sugar, and ground almonds is commonly known as marzipan.

Marzipan is used in decorations on cakes and other pastries as well as in fillings for some chocolates.

Kaak Warka is then baked at low heat and on non-stick paper to ensure it retains its white color. 

Are There Different Warka Pastry Recipes?

Yes, there are a few variations of the recipe. The differences are very slight.  Some are more traditional recipes — like Layla’s Delicacies — while others have unique twists.

Below is a table indicating some of the variations in Kaak recipes online. The other recipes are named Recipe 1, 2, and 3.

The black dot indicates the use of an ingredient in the recipe.

Kaak Flour Butter Water Cardamom Orange Blossom Water Ground Almonds Icing Sugar Rose Water Egg Yolk Ground Pistachio Nuts
Layla’s Recipe
Recipe 1
Recipe 2
Recipe 3

Layla’s Delicacies uses the six traditional ingredients and has perfected this recipe. These were the original ingredients used years ago.

Below are some quick observations based on the table -

  • All the recipes use Kaak flour to make the recipes. 
  • Layla’s recipe isn’t like any other of the four recipes; the six-ingredient combination is unique to Layla’s Delicacies. 
  • Only one recipe uses orange blossom water in place of rose water.
  • Half of the recipes use cardamom spice.
  • Egg yolk features in one recipe and it was used in the filling.

Layla’s Delicacies has the most traditional yet unique Kaak Warka recipe out of the other sampled recipes. Based on the ingredients, you’re assured of an experience like no other. 

How do I get Kaak Warka Pastries from Layla’s Delicacies? 

Kaak Warka is very popular, and everyone wants to taste a bit of heaven on earth in the form of this pastry. Here are two options to order from our website:

Kaak Warka (Exclusively)

cooked batter, leave for others to enjoy and they’ll be gone in 2 minutes
Kaak Warka

If you came for the Warka pastries and nothing else, you can order them here.

They’re referred to as Originals along with Samsa Pistachio, Almond Fingers and Baklava Pistachio and are sold individually.

Impress your friends and family with Kaak Warka today.

The Discovery Box 4PCS

cook batter and enjoy
Discovery Box, 4 PC

A combination of the Originals, the Discovery Box is a good way to enjoy Kaak Warka and a little bit of the other popular treats

If you’re not sure what to order from our Originals, this is a good way to experiment and savor three other delectable dessert pastries.

Treat yourself to a Discovery Boxand revel in the magic that Layla’s Delicacies creates.

Boy’s/Girl’s Night Idea: One person should buy the Discovery Box and try a blind tasting with friends. Each of you should be blindfolded and the one who bought the box should moderate.

Everyone should taste each treat and guess which one each is. Whoever correctly guesses the names of all four treats first wins!

The prize? Another Discovery Box for him or her, on everyone else’s tab!

Now that’s an adventure.

For Warqa pastry and other exciting surprises, visit Layla’s Delicacies today and go on a treasure hunt to find the sweetest and nuttiest pastries to enjoy with friends and family.

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